RC44 Trapani 2013 Day 5
Posted on 06 May 2013 by Valencia Sailing
RC44 Trapani 2013 Day 5
Posted on 05 May 2013 by Valencia Sailing
[Source: RC44 Class Association] The RC44 Trapani Cup really did go down to the wire, the eventual winner not decided until the final metres of the final race of the event. Team Aqua had laid the gauntlet down to Team CEEREF winning the first two races of the day. Going into the final decider Aqua led by just one-point, CEEREF needed to put a boat between them and Aqua to win the regatta. CEEREF thought they had done enough down the final run with Katusha between the pair, but in the final 100 metres the long term partnership of Chris Bake and Cameron Appleton snatched victory.
Perfect sailing conditions greeted the 13 strong RC44 fleet as racing got underway an hour early. 15 knots and a big swell creating some great surfing conditions. Team CEEREF took the early advantage, the furthest boat left benefitted from the left shift, they rounded the top mark just ahead of main rival Team Aqua. Down the first run, Aqua managed to squeeze inside at the leeward gate and took control.
Up the next beat the leading pair seemed to have a magnetic force pulling them together, Chris Bake’s experienced team managed to avoid the traffic and stay out of trouble to take the first race in of the day, the Slovenian team finishing fourth, Team Nika and Aleph Racing squeezing between the leading pair. Aqua were now just two-points behind Igor Lah and Michele Ivaldi’s Team CEEREF with Katusha seven-points off second.
The breeze dropped off slightly for race two, Aqua started safely in the middle of the line, CEEREF two boats below. CEEREF were first to tack out, Aqua tacked underneath them. From then Aqua were in control leading from the top mark to the finish. A fourth for CEEREF gave Chris Bake’s team a slim one-point lead going into the final race. Behind them Katushas’ ninth place meant Steve Howe and Andy Horton were now fighting for third, with Artemis creeping into contention behind them.
The breeze increased ready for the final showdown. CEEREF needed to finish two places ahead of Aqua to lift the trophy. Neither team engaged pre-start, CEEREF starting towards the pin end of the line, Aqua six boats to windward. First blood went to Aqua, as CEEREF tacked across, Aqua responded tacking on top, forcing the Slovenian team back left. At the top mark Aqua were third, CEEREF seventh.
An early gybe from the Slovenian bought them right back into the game, they rounded the leeward gate in second. Throughout the second beat, Lah’s team defended, by the final windward mark, it was advantage CEEREF, with Katusha firmly positioned between the pair. It was looking as though the Slovenian team had done enough, Aqua rounded gybing straight off, CEEREF didn’t cover.
In the last 100 metres to the finish line, Aqua came storming in from the right to cross in front of Katusha for third place. With Peninsula Petroleum getting the gun, CEEREF in second, Team Aqua had snatched victory from the jaws of defeated, Team Aqua were crowned champions, on count back of most race wins, and handed the Vito Corte designed RC44 Trapani Cup trophy.
Chris Bake, owner/driver, Team Aqua was first to give his analysis of the thrilling finale. “It was a great day of racing and CEEREF were the team to beat. We lined up with them at the start and were fairly even so I knew we had a chance to compete and sure enough we found ourselves there with them neck and neck for all three races. You can never assume you have it in the bag in this class, but it was a pretty strong statement coming out today and doing so well in the first two races. At the top mark (of the final race) we knew we had to beat Katusha to keep the lead so we were taking every wave we could, and keeping the boat going as fast as we could to just nip them to confirm the win.”
For Michele Ivaldi , tactician, Team CEEREF, they had enjoyed the battle. “It was a great day of sailing, we had been close to each other all day and it was really good that it came down to the last leg of the very last race. On the first run we had a bit of traffic so we had to go out and try something to get clean air, we had a good lane coming back in putting us ahead. We knew that there was someone between us and Aqua so we went for the last run and felt pretty comfortable with where we were going, hoping that either Katusha or Artemis would cover us, but they were fighting their own battle for third place which is a pity, at the top mark we were winning the event and a the bottom mark we had just lost.”
Third place was equally as hard fought; Katusha did enough to take third place, two points ahead of Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis Racing.
With two events completed in the 2013 RC44 Championship Tour, Team Aqua takes over the overall lead from Katusha, with Artemis Racing third and Team CEEREF fourth. The Tour now moves to Sweden for the RC44 Sweden Cup in Marstrand from 25 – 29 June 2013.
Posted on 05 May 2013 by Valencia Sailing
RC44 Trapani 2013 Day 4
Posted on 04 May 2013 by Valencia Sailing
RC44 Trapani 2013 Day 3
Posted on 04 May 2013 by Valencia Sailing
[Source: RC44 Class Association] Seven points separate the top three boats going into the final day of racing in Trapani. With no discards allowed at the RC44 events, no-one is taking bets on who will lift the RC44 Trapani Cup. Igor Lah and Michele Ivaldi on-board Team CEEREF turned the gas up on their opposition winning the day’s opening race; Team Aqua did enough to stay in contention in second overall, while Katusha’s win in the second race of the day pulled them up into the top three for the first time in Trapani.
It was the weather on the penultimate day of racing at the RC44 Trapani Cup that threw up the most surprises. The day started in a perfect 12-14 knots NE breeze that steadily increased throughout the first race, with the second starting in a lively 20 knots and a metre high swell. After a 40 minute delay race three got underway. With the breeze topping 22 knots the fleet changed to small gennakers, but the gun had only just sounded when a thunder and lightning storm hit. The race committee were quick to abandon and the fleet sent ashore for the day.
Michele Ivaldi, tactician on Team CEEREF summed up the days conditions. ”Just before the beginning of the first race we could see the white clouds San Francisco style rolling across the mountain which was a sign of more wind coming, the wind went from 14 up to 22 knots during the day which is really beautiful conditions for these boats, with about a metre waves, just enough to get the boats to wake-up and surf the waves. I think if you ask any owners they will have a smile on their face because in these conditions the boats really start to become fun.”
In the racing it was Team CEEREF took their first race win in the day’s opener. Deciding not to tack straight off the start-line, the Slovenian team came into the top mark at pace, rolling over the top of Team Nika and Team Aqua on the approach, to lead from start to finish. Artemis Racing, who always enjoy the breeze, moved up into second by the finish, with Katusha sailing a solid race posting a third. A fifth for Team Aqua meant Igor Lah’s team had regained the overall lead in Trapani from the defending RC44 Tour Champions.
With the breeze increasing for the second race the boats starting towards the favoured pin end of the line reached the top mark ahead. Steve Howe and Andy Horton on-board Katusha rounded first then proceeded to make a jump on the fleet. Overnight leaders Team Aqua called a very thin lay-line and were forced to gybe just before the windward mark, rounding 12th. A 20 degree shift on the second beat bought the fleet back together, with Aqua climbed back to seventh at the finish.
Owner driver Chris Bake summed up Team Aqua’s day. “We’ve been up and down a bit this regatta it’s just a matter of sailing clean and staying out of trouble which unfortunately we did neither of today, so that was a little tough. But it is the reality of the class, all the boats are really good and it’s a matter of seconds that make the difference.”
Team CEEREF slotted in another top five finish and now lead going into the final day, five-points clear of Team Aqua. Katusha move up into third, just two-points further adrift.
Vladimir Prosikhin and Tomislav Basic’s solid day on-board Team Nika move them up into fourth on equal points with the Torbjorn Tornqvist/Paul Cayard combination on Artemis Racing.
The stronger wind definitely tested the crew wok on-board the 13 competing RC44’s, but for the team at the top of the leader-board it was a very enjoyed the day, as Igor Lah explained. “The wind was much stronger, it was extremely fun going downwind we were able to pick some nice waves and that’s really enjoyable on a day like today. It’s a brilliant feeling, when you catch a good wave and really speed up the boat that’s probably the best feeling you can get.”
Posted on 03 May 2013 by Valencia Sailing
[Source: RC44] Trapani delivered perfect sailing conditions for the 13 competing international teams at the RC44 Trapani Cup. Three races saw three separate race winners, in a day where consistency was hard to come by. It was Team Aqua who managed stay out of trouble and jump to the top of the leader-board at the halfway point of the regatta.
As racing got underway in a stable 12-13 knot breeze, overnight leader Team CEEREF (Igor Lah/ Michele Ivaldi) were one of two boats to be called over the line. As half the fleet tacked off the line and headed straight into the Sicily shoreline, Aleph Racing (Hugues Lepic/Mathieu Richard) started in the middle, picked the first shift perfectly and led Ironbound at the top mark by 23 seconds. By the final gun they had extended their lead to over a minute, leaving the chaos behind them.
As the chasing pack approached the line, Artemis Racing (Torbjorn Tornqvist/Paul Cayard) luffed Ironbound (David Murphy/Paul Goodison) who in turn luffed Team Aqua (Chris Bake/Cameron Appleton). In the final metres to the finish, Ironbound were penalised for failing to give enough room to Aqua on the finish mark, as their spinnakers touched. The incident allowed Team Italia to sneak through into second, Aqua claimed third with Artemis fourth, Ironbound dropped from second to thirteenth after completing their penalty turn.
Team Italia were next to take a race win, leading from start to finish. They won the committee boat end of the line, tacked straight off to the right, came back on the perfect layline. Team Aqua couldn’t cross and tacked underneath, but didn’t quite make the lay, putting in a double tack just before the mark giving Team Italia the space to get a jump on the fleet. Katusha (Steve Howe/Andy Horton) challenged the Italians down the final run, but it was an emphatic win for home team. Aqua slotted in another third.
Owner Massimo Barranco has Francesco Bruni calling the shots this week, straight from Naples where he skippered the Prada team to victory in the final round of the America’s Cup World Series. Barranco had the biggest smile when he stepped on the dock and sprayed the obligatory race winner champagne. “We are very, very happy with today. For me it was a big satisfaction to get a win in front of fans in my country, to win the racing is very exciting.”
In the final race of the day it was the turn of Peninsula Petroleum (John Bassadone /Vasco Vascotto) to dominate. Showing great speed and a perfect layline call on the top mark, they rounded with speed and sailed away from the fleet, in a race that saw the wind finally drop off and some major shifts come through.
The prize for biggest gain of the day went to Team Aqua. Slow off the start in the final race, they tacked away from the fleet and hit the left hand corner in search of some air, but rounded the windward mark last. A remarkable comeback saw the British flagged team finish second and take the overall lead at the halfway mark. Team CEEREF did enough to stay in second just two-points off Team Aqua.
Owner Chris Bake made the race seem easy in his analysis. “We had a lousy start in the final race, we were slow off the start and got rolled by a bunch of boats so broke out left to get some clean air. We were last around the windward mark, but there was quite a tight fleet going around the windward mark and a couple of boats got penalty points, which got in the way of other boats, but we were able to sail around that and pick up some positions to pick the right leeward mark, had a good windward leg and clawed back a few more places to second.”
Artemis Racing also posted a very consistent score-line finishing fourth in each of their races to move up the leader-board from seventh to third, tactician Paul Cayard gave his analysis of the day. “The truth is we weren’t really that consistent out there, we were just consistent at the finish line but we were all over the place during racing. We were going pretty fast, had good boat speed and made the right decisions with the traffic. It can be really difficult to get around the boats so we probably got lucky a little bit too.”
Katusha had an up and down day their 11,2,3 score-line enough to keep them in fourth overall 10 points off the lead.
Posted on 02 May 2013 by Valencia Sailing
RC44 Trapani 2013 Day 2
Posted on 02 May 2013 by Valencia Sailing
[Source: RC44 Class Association] Three separate teams each took race wins on the first day of fleet racing at the RC44 Trapani Cup in Sicily. But the team at the top of the overnight leader-board didn’t win a race, instead it was consistency across all four races that was the key to Team CEEREF from Slovenia success on day one.
Racing started in a moderate north easterly sea-breeze. Series leader Katusha (RUS) got off the blocks well leading at the top mark from Team CEEREF and Team Aqua, the top three held their positions until the final gun, round one to the Russian team, with Steve Howe at the helm.
Valentin Zavadnikov’s Synergy Russian Sailing Team like banging a corner or two in the RC44 fleet. In race two they were quick to tack off the start-line and head right into the Sicilian shoreline, a move that would prove very valuable as they led the fleet into the windward mark. Poland’s MAG Racing rounded in second with the home town heroes Team Italia in third, again the top three positions didn’t change to the finish, Team CEEREF moving up to fifth by the finish, with Katusha two places behind in seventh.
Synergy may have been spurred on by having a double Olympic Champion and CNN Mainsail presenter Shirley Robertson as their ninth man in race two, but their form carried onto the next race. With the fleet favouring the committee boat end, 12 RC44s were crammed into one very small space. Synergy however bucked the trend and started in space at the pin end with no other boat even close to them. The Russian’s led from start to finish for their second win of the day. Katusha gained places throughout to finish second, and Team CEEREF continued their consistent form slotting in a third.
Tactician, Ed Baird explained the tactics on-board Synergy for their two race wins. “The second race today just seemed like the left was getting lighter and the little pressure that was remaining on the race course was out to the right. It felt that way all day but in that start in particular I just wanted to be up there on the right hand side, be early to tack and stay on the shore which turned out to be more valuable than I expected. All three boats that started up at the committee boat end and tacked early were the three boats that lead at the top mark by quite a long way.
In the third race the fleet thought they had better head to the right but you could kind of see the breeze had filled in more and actually on the last run of the previous race we felt we were getting headers on starboard gybe downwind so when I saw the pin was a little favoured and all the boats were at the committee boat we separated, got down to the left and there was just a little bit more pressure of the line there and no one in our face so we could cross the fleet from there.”
In the final race of the day it was Chris Bake’s Team Aqua who picked the right end of the line, got a clean start and stayed ahead of the fleet. Team Aegir were their closest rival as they rounded the windward mark, but it was Team CEEREF who were again making the move through the fleet. Their second place in the final race left the Slovenian with a 2,5,3,2 score-line and a six-point overnight lead over Synergy; Team Aqua sit in third, two-points ahead of Katusha in fourth.
Team CEEREF’s owner Igor Lah (SLO) was pleased with their day on the water. “Everything was working in our favour today, Michele (Ivaldi) was choosing all the right sides, the team did a great job downwind, the wind was pretty stable, everything just worked. It’s amazing how hard the competition is now within the fleet.”